Well after Friday evening's "I just wanna run", and with good weather back on the agenda, today I wanted to go for speed. My immediate target: beat my personal best 5k time, my long term target: a sub 30 minute 5k. The sun was shining and the clocks just went forward making it an hour later than it ought to be. It looks like it's going to be hot this afternoon, so getting out there sooner is better. I ran the same course as Friday: a flat first 1k, then a long steady clamp for the second kilometre, a steady descent again for k3 and most of 4, and flat again for the last 1000m. Of course as it's Sunday, rather than the church with its distinctive tower being a nice landmark to run past, today it meant dodging parishioners milling about enjoying the sunshine after the service.
After a fast walk to the start line, I set the music and set the timer. It takes me about 500 m to settle into a rhythm*, by which time I am near the start of the climb. My goal was to keep as much pace through the climb as possible and then to avoid slacking off coming down again. I managed that, but it meant by the time I was at the railway station, which is at 3.5k (it marks the bottom of the descent), I was feeling pretty pooped. I knew I was making good time, though, and the discussion on another thread from Friday about a motivational cup of tea and piece of toast came to my mind. That got me as far as the church, and dodging dopey parishioners offered sufficient distraction that I was able to push on through.
With the warm weather and cracking pace, I was sweating like a racehorse by the end, and for the first time, I had to have a little sit down on a garden wall while I fiddled with my iPhone to finish the run tracker. I managed to knock more than a minute off my previous best time, and that sub-30 minute score is not seeming so far away now.
After two great runs, I think I'll follow up with two rest days (oh the luxury). And a piece of toast and cup of tea.
* Yes, I did describe running for 500 m as a "settling in period". As recently as two months ago, I would have regarded running continuously for 500 m as some sort of mammoth achievement in itself that was probably right at the extreme limits of endurance of my body. For those of you starting out, only just managing the 90s continuous runs of week 2, I was there too, not long ago, and if you stick with the program, you too can say things like, "yeah, the second km was easy, but the third one was a bit more of a challenge"